Crime prevention officials have issued a range of tips and advice for how householders can protect themselves from criminals during the spring and summer.
The Hartlepool Community Safety Team is urging people to take steps to safeguard their homes and gardens now the spring and lighter nights have arrived.
Jane Munden, the team’s Victim Services Officer, said: “With the lighter nights here and the weather starting to warm up more of us are getting out into our gardens.
“Always remember to take steps to protect your garden and outbuildings when you think home security.
“The equipment in your garden is not only often expensive but some items, such as garden tools, can easily be used by burglars to break into your home unless they are put away.”
Householders to take the following measures:
l Install security lighting
l Keep the boundary low at the front of the property so that would-be burglars can’t hide, but keep walls, fences and hedges at the back high. Consider adding trellis and prickly plants to make them difficult to climb over.
l Don’t leave anything lying around in your garden. Always make sure ladders and tools are stored away.
l Keep garden sheds and side gates locked. Chain and lock valuable items inside a shed to a fixed point and security mark them with your house number and postcode using paint, an engraver or a UV pen.
l Consider installing a shed alarm.
l Gravel paths and driveways make it harder for would-be burglars to go unheard.
l Photograph valuable items so they can be identified.
l Be clear on what your insurance policy covers in your garden.
l Secure bins together or to a fixed point so intruders can’t use them as climbing aids.
l Always keep house doors and windows locked when out in the garden and your garage locked at all times.
For further information, or to request crime prevention advice, assistance or victim support, contact the Hartlepool Community Safety Team on (01429) 523100 or email@example.com